My brother called to tell me that my sister’s contractions are already 5 minutes apart. We hurried home and then brought her to the nearest hospital. Since they don’t have the money to spend for her delivery. I told my father that I’ll be bringing her to the public hospital. First, we brought her to the Ospital ng Maynila. She was rejected because the nurse at the ER said that they don’t have enough OB-Gynes on duty to take care of her. In fact, a lot of their OB patients have transferred because they are not being attended to by the doctors on duty. I couldn’t blame them but I was really disappointed with the way that my sister was rejected – considering that she’s only a couple of minutes away from delivery.
Hubby suggested that we try San Juan De Dios Hospital which was only about 5 minutes away from OM. When we got to the ER, I was told that since she didn’t have her pre-natal check-up in the hospital, she has to be admitted as a private patient. Okay, I don’t have that money to pay for a private admission so I decided to transfer her to another hospital. Hubby suggested that we try Pasay City General Hospital so I told him to make a go for it. Anyway, it was only 10 minutes away so it was still okay.
When we got there, we were told that there should only be one companion for each patient. Being the one who was in charge with the bill, I readily accompanied my sister while hubby, Gian and Via waited for me outside of the hospital. I was disillusioned at the sight of a lot of people going in and out of the ER. When we got to the OB section, there was a patient there who was being reprimanded by the doctor because she took Cytotek and is having episodes of profuse bleeding. The doctor told the patient that she was successful in aborting the baby. The OB performed an IE on the patient while I helped my sister sign forms. After the IE, the doctor told the other patient that they would need about 4-5 thousand to have the D & C performed on her but the catch was they would need to have to file a blotter with the NBI about the incident because that is already the SOP for women who induced their abortion. The girl’s aunt said that they don’t have the money and she thinks that it is not fair to have the incident reported. The doctor explained to them several times the implications of what the girl did. I saw the aunt in tears while the girl was pale and speechless.
After the OB “got rid” of her first patient, she examined my sister and told me to buy all the other stuff that they need for the operation. I was informed that we would be spending 2-3 thousand pesos for a normal delivery. But if they see that my sister couldn’t deliver through normal means, it would be another 5-7 thousand for a caesarian operation. I only had enough for normal delivery so I told my sister that she needs to deliver via NSD or else, she and her baby will be stuck in that damned hospital.
I had to buy all the medicines and stuff that will be used at the drugstore in front of the hospital. Take note, the doctor told me that if I buy it somewhere else, she would return it and we’ll have to buy those again. I followed the doctor’s orders to the letter so as to facilitate everything that needed to be done. When I got back, I was surprised that the doctor went out and was nowhere to be found. And then my sister’s water bag broke. I approached the nurse’s station and informed the nurse (who happened to be a lesbian) of the situation. I went back to my sister and she was already writhing in pain. When I saw that her water was already flowing down her legs and her shorts was all drenched, I ran hurriedly to the nurse’s station once again and informed the nurse that my sister was about to give birth. She hurriedly got a stretcher and then as if bragging about her “heroic” deed, she told me: “Hindi ko trabaho ‘to pero since ako lang ang nurse na andito, gagawin ko kasi manganganak na yang kasama mo!” She instructed me to lift my sister to the stretcher and even shouted at me and said: “Kumilos ka dyan! Walang tutulong sa kasama mo na manganak kundi ikaw lang! ‘Di ko trabaho ‘to kaya bilis-bilisan mo dyan!”
I wanted to throw the chair at the nurse but I was more concerned about my sister’s delivery. I know that it’s already critical when the bag of waters has burst during a delivery. I helped the nurse transport my sister to the second floor of the hospital where the delivery room was located. On our way there, I couldn’t help but puke at the smell of stinking hospital garbage that was just at the back of the ER. Now, talk about hygiene in a hospital.
I didn’t thank the nurse for the “heroic” deed that she did for my sister. The last thing I wanted to hear were those words that came out from her mouth considering that I just came from a vacation and I was on the road for at least 12 hours already.
At the delivery room, they gave me another list of medicines and things to buy at the drugstore and then I had to pay for some laboratory tests that they will be doing on my sister. I paid for everything and then waited for the news about my sister’s delivery. At 11:34 pm, she gave birth to her 4th baby boy. At least, my sister was able to deliver successfully and without any complications (considering that she didn’t take care of herself very well during her pregnancy).
I was instructed by the nurse to buy another set of things this time for the baby and some for the new mother. I bought the items on the list and then the nurse at the nursery gave me another paper with another list of things to buy. I wanted to shout and tell them to just list everything down so it’ll be just one trip to the drugstore and that will save me time and energy. I was already on the verge of collapsing – I was hungry, tired and drenched from the rains that kept pouring.
I went back to the delivery room and asked the nurse if I can already go home since it’s already past 12 midnight. And this was how the conversation went:
Nurse: (in a sarcastic tone) “Bakit ka uuwi? Walang magbabantay sa pasyente! Kelangan merong bantay yan! Walang mag-aasikaso dyan dito sa ‘min!”
Me: (in a sarcastic tone) “Baka naman ho pwede muna akong kumain atsaka meron hong papalit sa ‘kin na magbabantay kasi meron akong asawa’t anak na naghihintay sa ‘kin sa bahay!”
Nurse: “Bilhan mo na rin ng pagkain yung pasyente at walang pagkain dito sa ospital!”
Me: “Anong oras ho ba ililipat ng ward yung pasyente?”
Nurse: “Mga ala-una hanggang alas-dos! Kelangan merong tao dyan sa labas pag ililipat na yan kasi wala kaming mauutusan na maglipat ng pasyente sa kwarto!”
And then I went down to the lobby where hubby, Gian and Via were waiting for me.
We ate a late dinner at Chowking and bought noodles for my sister. I was so tired and was complaining to my husband who can only affirm everything that I went through inside the public hospital. He told me that that’s how everything goes in a public hospital and we can’t do anything about it.
I went back to the hospital and waited for hubby and my sister’s husband to come back. It was already past 1am and still no one was going out of the delivery room even after I buzzed them. I decided to smoke a couple of sticks outside of the hospital ER while waiting for my brother-in-law to arrive.
Shortly before 3 am, hubby and my brother-in-law arrived. I talked to the guard and told him that my brother-in-law will be the one to replace me in taking care of our patient. I tried to buzz the delivery room again for a nurse or doctor but no one came out so I just told my brother-in-law to wait for instructions from the doctor or nurse because we really need to get home.
Now I understand why there are a lot of people who don’t get out alive from public hospitals. It’s really such a pathetic realization for me. How I wish our legislators will do something about the plight of our public hospitals. If only there will be a bigger budget allocation for health and education then maybe people will have access to better health facilities and have better chances of getting well from their illnesses. I feel so blessed that I have the means to go to the better hospitals and have access to doctors who are sympathetic to my complaints and does everything to make me well. After this experience, I swore to myself never to set foot in a public hospital again – at least until the system gets better.